School based mental health program continues to grow

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) -- At an uncertain time for mental health access throughout the state, a Madison County program continues to grow. Wellstone's Nova Center provides school-based mental health for students in the Huntsville City, Madison City and Madison County systems.

"It's very beneficial because we're right there in the schools when things happen," said Wellstone's Nova Center Division Director Josaylon Lucas Wade.

Roughly 18 clinicians work on-site counseling students ages 3-18. Last year alone, the counselors served about 950 students. For this upcoming year, they will work in an unprecedented 39 elementary, middle and high schools.

"It's a way of collaborating with someone else to get the children the most beneficial experience they can have," said School-Based Therapy Program Manager Lindsey Stephenson.

This easy access to counseling helps to supply both long-term and short-term attention for students. The clinicians provide crisis intervention, as well as support for adjustment disorders, depression, ADHD and beyond.

As the program increases its presence in the county, it also serves as a crucial resource for many who need it most.

"My goal is ultimately to be in every school that we have in Huntsville-Madison area because the need is definitely there," said Wade.

The school-based mental health program receives funding from various grants, including the Huntsville Hospital Foundation's Community Health Initiative.

If these counselors are not currently in your student's school, the Nova Center encourages you to contact the school's administrators.